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Gunfire, street fights erupt in Kazakhstan’s metropolis

Kazakh security forces have moved on rioters in Almaty, with heavy gunfire heard in the city center near the charred administration building. Police say they repelled an “attack” on their HQ, leaving some attackers dead.

A new attempt to dislodge violent protesters from the city center was apparently launched by the police and military on Thursday evening. Witnesses reported hearing heavy gunfire in the city center, close to the local administration building that was overrun and burnt down by violent protesters on Wednesday.

Multiple military trucks, apparently transporting troops, were seen heading towards Almaty’s center.

A reporter with a local outlet sustained a leg wound during the police operation in the city, Sputnik Kazakhstan reported. The journalist received first aid from law enforcement.

Police said that a new attempt to storm the city’s police HQ was also repelled on Thursday. An unspecified number of attackers were “eliminated” during the failed attack, police spokesperson Saltanat Azirbek told Sputnik Kazakhstan.

The headquarters, which remains one of the few government buildings not overrun by protesters, endured another assault overnight, with multiple attackers reportedly killed in the attempt, according to police.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports in the local media said the Almaty television tower, located on slopes of the Kok Tobe mountain just south-east of the city, was overrun by rioters. The Soviet-era tower, which is still among the tallest buildings of Kazakhstan, features a war-grade nuclear bomb shelter.

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